Once again, we have the phenomenon of journalism being about….journalists. It seems that this breed makes the news more than the people they are supposed to cover.
First, there was a scoop by an online outlet, Buzz Feed that President Trump had directed his former attorney to lie to Congress about a business deal in Moscow. The special counsel of the 2016 presidential election refuted the story. The online outlet was unapologetic. So, too, were the media outlets that bought into the scoop that wasn’t.
Then the came the public flogging of a 16-year old at a March for Life rally in Washington. (Full disclosure: Your servant is a Catholic who attended public high schools.) In an ideal situation, a teenager would get the benefit of a doubt in an incident involving adults. In fact, there was no incident at all. No one got hurt. There wasn’t even a hint of violence—but there was obsence language by adults direceted at some of the Covington Catholic youngsters. The teenager wore a “Maga” cap. That sealed the deal. For liberals and conservatives alike, the young man was—and remains—guilty as charged.
After these incidents, one pundit pondered the “death of journalism.” What death? More important, what journalism?
As we have noted before, journalism is an impossibility, unless a reporter is willing to give both sides equal footing to sound off. When we do a questionnaire for political candidates, we make sure that if Candidate A’s response runs to 500 words, then Candidate B’s response had better be 500 words, also. Not a single word, more or less.
Newspapers, originally, were never about journalism. Newspaper A would be a Democratic Party sheet, while Newspaper B a Whig Party vehicle. During and after the Civil War, Newspaper B evolved into a Republican Party functionary. Nothing has changed since then.
An exception is your favorite publication here at Anton. We have no agenda. We don’t endorse candidates. We cover the stories not important enough for our friends at Newsday. Your servant gets to cover several of the finest villages in all of America. And you know who to count on for stories about your children and your community.